Hooked On Driving - The Team
David Ray – HOD Founder and Group LeaderIn a previous life, David was a partner in a Northern California staffing firm called Advantage Personnel, servicing companies like Wells Fargo, Pacific Bell, Airtouch Communications and Chevron. After selling the business in 1998, he served in a management development and executive coaching role during which, his clients discovered his passion for automobiles and driving, and pressed him to organize track days – and one thing led to another….His motorsports experience includes competing in the Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) Regional racing program from 1985 to present. In 1994, David scored his first San Francisco Regional championship in an ITS Datsun 240Z, and in 2006 he won his second, while setting the T2 class track record at Laguna Seca three separate times in the Dirito Brothers Nissan sponsored Nissan 350Z. He has also held qualifying and race lap records at Thunderhill, and Infineon Raceway in the 350Z. But more importantly to his current role, he began as an instructor for the SCCA competition licensing school in 1989 and fell in love with sharing the hobby. As a result, he began volunteering as a coach for track days in the early ‘90’s, and decided to make it his full time enterprise in 2004. One of his proudest achievements is his role as Chair of the new track committee of the San Francisco Region of the SCCA in support of President Tom McCarthy, and now CEO David Vodden, in the development, fund raising and construction of Thunderhill Raceway. Ray currently serves on the Thunderhill Board of Directors. In the final analysis, Ray’s goal is to share his passion for driving, whether it is in a High Performance Driving environment such as Hooked On Driving, or assisting HOD drivers to move to faster and more competitive venues.
Leigh Ray – Co-Owner/Administrative ManagerLeigh inherited this responsibility, as "the idea guy", David, needed a lot of help keeping things organized as the business grew. With a background in marketing research for Ford Motor Company, and a division of Dun & Bradstreet, as well as marketing, sales promotion, and special event management for Pepsi, her analytical skills have been an asset to the HOD team. Leigh sees to it that logistics for each event are well-managed, and each participant receives a complete, customized packet to facilitate their day with HOD.
Dave Auer Owner/Operator, HOD Southern State RegionFor the majority of Dave’s life he was able to take his passion from ski racing and turn it into a 30+ year career in the ski business, concluding with a successful run as CEO of Fischer Skis. Along the way, he also got bit by the SCCA racing bug and had a good amount of success as a national competitor in SRF and Formula 2000. Dave has now decided to utilize this experience on track as a racer, by sharing it with others. “The friends I have made at the track will be with me forever. HOD's approach to High Performance Driving brings this, in a safe, controlled and non-competitive environment. I am look forward to spreading word about the sport of performance driving. Email Dave at firstname.lastname@example.org for information.
Don Clinkinbeard Regional Owner - HOD Pacific Northwest RegionDon is a Senior Engineering Manager for a major semiconductor manufacturer. He has held many positions throughout his 37 career from Maintenance Technician through Principle Engineer, before switching to the management track.
Don began his love affair with Driving on the track in 1994. He has been an instructor since 2000 and has taught at numerous west coast tracks for PCA, BMW, Alfa, Corvette and SCCA among other programs. He served as CDI before becoming the HPDE chair for the Oregon Region of PCA (ORPCA) about 6 years ago, growing the program from 3 event days annually to 12 in 2010. “The most rewarding part of coaching in this fine hobby is when you get your student to connect with the concept or skill you are trying to build. It is the greatest feeling in the world when you can help someone achieve a sense of accomplishment and even mastery of a skill.”
I ran into David Ray at Thunderhill Raceway in the fall of 2010 and we talked briefly about this program. Over the months since then we had talked many times and my sense of excitement grew with each conversation. The HOD program aligns very well with what I have been working towards in the Portland area. I feel the time is right for us to take this hobby to a new level and provide a great development program for our customers and friends that is consistent across the US.
Debbie Clinkinbeard Regional Owner, Registrar and Operations Team leader – HOD Pacific Northwest Region Debbie has 10 years of HPDE experience as a Driver in our GT3 class Porsche 944 Turbo and as Chief of Track Operations for ORPCA. She has served as a pace car driver for PCA Club Racing in Portland and has run the Tower at Portland International Raceway for about 10 years with ORPCA and more recently at Oregon Raceway Park. Debbie was a key player in establishing the first club events at this fun venue.. She is a great organizer as well as trouble shooter ensuring that our customers are well cared for and presented with a safe and enjoyable day at the track.
Eric and Sarah Eismueller Regional Owner - HOD Great Lakes RegionEric is a Mechanical Engineer that loves the outdoors, participating in life and active hobbies. Very enthused and active in the business, Sarah is a stay-at-home mom (except when they’re at the track!) with 3 growing boys, a degree in office technology, and background in accounting. Eric’s hobbies always included something with wheels-from mountain bike racing, off-roading and involvement with TREC racing as well. It wasn’t long before he discovered high speed autocross, then road course driving in his track-prepped 350Z, and never turned back. While working as a coach with HOD, Eric realized they had a program which included driver development, safety, speed, and yes, fun. So he is not just an HOD owner, he was also a customer and coach. With the support of good friends, Eric and Sarah have developed a team that is dedicated to providing a track experience that you won’t forget.
Gordon Sanderson - Director Of Business DevelopmentGordon spent the majority of his career in senior management positions in the foodservice business. His need for speed started with drag racing and participating in SCCA hill climbs events. In 2001 he got his first taste of the thrill of driving on a race track when he attended the Audi Club Golden Gate event at Sonoma Raceway. Hooked after the first lap, he attended other Audi Events and progressed through instructor programs to become a certified instructor for the Audi Club North America and Porsche Club of America. Gordon’s first HOD event was at Buttonwillow and he quickly became even more hooked. HOD provided a high level of professionalism and enthusiasm in conducting on track events. During the 6+ years Gordon has been associated with HOD he has found that working as a group leader with the Intermediate Group to be the most rewarding. The “Speedy B’s have already experienced the excitement of driving on the track and are ready to move to the next level to hone their driving skills. Recently Gordon’s role with HOD has been expanded to include the position as Director of Business Development-working with organizations, sponsors, and customers to develop closer relationships and expand the HOD brand. If you have an idea or interest in sponsoring or partnering with Hooked On Driving, Gordon can be reached at email@example.com.
Dev Clough* – Coaching Coordinator, Group LeaderDev is the champion kart racer among us. Competing in motorsports since 1980, he’s run karts, the Mazda RX-7 series with NASA and SCCA. Clearly the H.O.D. member with the most time instructing, Dev has taught with 7 different clubs, is an SCCA competition licensing instructor, and was the “Instructor of the Year” for NASA in 1999. While always available to assist in coaching, Dev currently serves as Chief Instructor for the Thunderhill Street School showing his willingness to manage an event by well-defined rules – and stick to them. Dev’s sincere and personal style has helped many nervous drivers relax and focus on the skills they need to practice in going fast safely. He currently serves in a key role while managing and developing current and future coaches for the HOD program.
Daryl “DW” Witbeck* – Group LeaderIf you need a building built, Daryl's the guy to talk to. His "real job" currently involves building libraries, schools, and major commercial projects. We think that the skills Daryl uses daily in communicating complicated information to a varied audience translates well to his work with Hooked On Driving. DW has been an SCCA competitor for 8 years, initially in a Spec Racer Ford and now dukes it out in the very competitive Spec Miata class. DW also combines his engineering background with his passion for the logistics and physical challenges as a regular driver in endurance road races.
In addition, he has been an instructor at Thunderhill for six years, and has received rave reviews from his students. Primarily serving as our beginner, Group A instructor, Daryl uses a no-nonsense way of explaining the key elements of performance driving. DW was a strong influence on our coaching curriculum to assure that everyone, no matter their background, understands the fundamental terminology and concepts that we use in HOD programs. This ensures that all drivers, beginner and advanced, are “speaking the same language” as the coaching staff.
Terry Geiser* - Lead Track/Safety Steward and Driver ObserverThese key roles have been developed for HOD by Terry. He honed his communication skills as a White House staffer – so you know he can explain things! As a multiple marque aficionado, Terry has logged many days and hours as a student and now instructor for the Audi Club and HOD. He is the Chief Instructor for the Audi Club Golden Gate chapter, and was a founder of the Bay Area Cobra Club, – talk about automotive diversity!! Whether in role as a Coach, Group Leader, Track Steward, or Driver Observer you can count on Terry bringing his enthusiasm and positive spirit to the track. His priorities at the track have always been on the balance of safety, fun, and learning. Terry is at his best with studded tires, in “Quattro”, on frozen lakes, 100 miles north of the arctic circle in Finland where a turn in is called the "flick."
Jay Tepper – Regional Director – HOD Northeast Region
Jay Tepper is the Regional Director of the Northeast Region and will handle the administration and coordination of HOD NE events. Jay brings over three decades of track event and motorsports experience with the last 20 concentrating on coaching students and mentoring other coaches. He served as the Chief Instructor for a northeast organization for over five years and has been instrumental in coordination of track day events for multiple organizations. “For me there is nothing like the smile and energy that comes beaming from drivers with whom I can share my experience and knowledge of performance driving. I enjoy making the opportunity of driving on a race track available to so many.